Dutch denim brand



How sustainable is Denham?


Denham is a Dutch denim brand with a strong Japanese influence. The company was founded in 2008 and is recognizable for its scissors logo. Denham shows a willingness to improve, but is not completely transparent yet, which is the first real step to take. The company has neither tracked nor published its carbon footprint, and doesn’t have substantial carbon reduction targets in place. The company is a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and uses the Higg Environmental Module to measure environmental performance in its factories, but doesn’t provide this data in its reporting. Elements like energy, water consumption and waste are described with examples where factual data is needed. Denham recognizes that more climate action is needed. To reduce emissions, it wants to improve its logistics and the materials it uses. Fortunately, Denham is transparent about these materials. Almost half of the cotton it uses for its jeans is made with cotton from the Better Cotton Initiative. This number is at 27% for its entire collection, but it also sources 6% from GOTS. The company wants to use 50% better cotton for its entire collection by 2025 and already sources wool and down responsibly. But then again, Denham does use leather that’s not certified, which leaves room for improvement in terms of environmental performance as well as animal welfare. It does work with Oeko Tex to manage chemicals in its supply chain. The company is transparent about where its products are manufactured and provides a factory list, including addresses and certifications, but currently doesn’t mention audits by third parties, which poses a risk for labor rights. However, it does state that it wants to become a member of the Fair Wear Foundation in 2021 to ensure social standards in its factories. But this is currently not the case. Denham is improving and is looking to make some great steps. It has also launched a denim recycling program, and provides a free repair service and a 20% discount for a new pair if you hand in your old pair of Denham jeans. But there’s particularly room for improvement in terms of its environmental footprint and transparency.

Publication date: July 25th 2020
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